Chapter One: Life keeps on changing.
I do not own Xander Harris. I do not own Anita Blake. They belong to their respective creators Joss Whedon and Laurell K. Hamilton. This is a piece of fan fiction and is not intended to be reproduced for profit.
Raising the Dead and Loving It.....
A sequel to The One who Sees Dead People.
Six months later.....
“It is with great regret this court has ruled as it has, but due to a lengthy and extensive sets of arguments, limitations are to be put in place. Yes it is true that vampires are technically living beings, they are however, not human. The proof has come from many sources. Unlike with Lycanthropes, there is no virus that causes the transformation into a vampire. It is not a blood based disease. It is a documented corruption of a body. While the body retains the memories it had in life, it is not the same person.” Xander read as he sipped his morning fruit juice smoothie.
Anita made a rolling motion with her hand to tell him to get on with it.
“Part of this new evidence comes from a trio of spirits from California that were able to communicate with us directly via satellite. Each one is a psychic imprint of a former head of the university of Berkeley's Preternatural Science Department. Due to the studies that had come out of the latest works of the living members of that department including the documented Three Day Law in which it takes a human soul to leave the body. This lack of a soul implies that something else is in control of the vampire body It has been postulated and proven that same something is the cause of the negative reactions around holy items in the hands of believers. A vampire is not the same as the human they were before death. Due to this, they are to be classified as a wholly different entity. With this new recognition, the laws of inheritance still apply unless specified in a written will beforehand.”
“Well that's a relief.” Anita muttered. “If you get turned intentionally, you'll have to leave everything to the vampire you'll become. Still, that could be considered premeditated murder right?”
“Suicide by becoming a vampire? Could become pretty popular.” Xander muttered before he continued reading..... “There will be no ban on use of holy items in public places, private residences or even businesses. It would be restrictive of people's faith and we are not about to suppress the freedom of religion that this country celebrates.” He stopped reading... “It goes on. The dissenting opinion is pretty negative. The main things are coming out of capital hill which affect us are that vampire hunters like us have to apply to become sanctioned executioners and we need a warrant to kill a vampire. That's what applies to us anyways.”
“So now what?” Anita asked him.
“We go apply. There might be a several week wait until the paperwork clears before we can go hunting again, but we've got the cops on our side at least.” Xander shrugged. “Until then, we keep our ears to the ground.”
“Some of the things we've come across through the police department have been pretty weird.” Anita said as she took the legal magazine from her brother's hand. “How can you stand to read this?” She said after looking at the dissenting opinion.
Xander shrugged. “I knew some people that politicians couldn't hold a candle to when it came to being long winded. That and one of my majors was political science.”
Anita snorted. She still thought it was a silly major.
“Blake, get in here!” Bert Vaughn yelled as the Blake twins came into Animators Inc. for their morning appointments.
Xander and Anita shared a look before sighing. “Which one of us is he yelling for this time?” Anita asked the day secretary who shrugged.
Anita looked at her brother.
“Fine, go get your coffee. I'll bite the bullet. Again.” Xander said as he rolled his eyes before heading into their 'employer's' office.
Anita smirked as her brother walked away and headed towards the coffeemaker.
Inside the Bert's office.....
“What is it now boss?” Xander asked Bert as he entered the man's personal office space.
“Wrong Blake.” Bert muttered. “I don't know what you and your sister do in your free time, but what ever it is, have the people send gifts to your house. Not here.”
“Huh?” Xander asked, confused before jerking his head towards the sound of a coffee mug breaking. “I take it they're in our office?”
“They are.” Bert told him. “You need to get some of that out of here before the others show up. They'll get jealous. Jamison's already whining that you two get more press.”
“Jamison's a weenie.” Xander said flatly.
“Regardless.” Bert sighed. “Get those things out of here.”
“I wondered why I smelled so many fresh flowers.” Xander said a he headed out of Bert's domain. As he passed the day secretary she handed him a roll of paper towels. Xander nodded to her and headed inside.
He was simultaneously assaulted visually and nasally. “Dear god.” He said as he stared at the room. It was full of flowers and fruit baskets. Anita currently had her head out the open window.
“I know right?” He heard his sister say. “What the hell is this?” She asked him from outside.
“Did you read any of the cards?” Xander asked as he entered the room.
“No. I dropped my coffee and headed straight for the window.” Anita said as she pulled her head back in from the window. “We really need to repaint our car.”
“This is the first time you've seen the roof isn't it?” Xander grinned before catching a fruit basket she threw at him.
Xander read the tag. “My thanks for clearing the way.... The Master. Well shit. Now that he's legal...”
“He's making himself known.” Anita agreed. “So what should we do?”
“Donate the flowers to a hospital or something. I'm keeping the fruit.” He told her. He'd already planted a few trees in their back yard but he wanted to try something with some seeds now that the opportunity arose.
“You do it.” She told him.
“Fine, we'll throw them out then.” He muttered. Neither one of them liked hospitals very much. They were overcrowded with the living, never mind the dead that were there.
Star Lanes.... that afternoon.
“He sent you fruitbaskets?” Rafael asked Xander and Anita.
“Flowers too.” Anita said from around a mouthful of burger. The cook here did something to the onions. It made them good.
“Interesting. He may visit you soon.” Rafael told them.
“You get a name yet?” Xander asked him.
“He's called Jean Claude.” Rafael said as he sipped his beer. “He's... one of the pretty ones.”
“Great.” Xander muttered. They'd run across a few different types of vampires in their slayings. When a few put up a fight they started rotting which had been really disgusting. It had also made them more durable. A few of them though had just been pretty. Something about bloodlines.
“A pretty vampire means he'll look good for the press if he ever comes out as the Master of the City publicly.” Anita said as she stood up to take her turn. “That will hurt any chances we have of taking him out quietly. Any word on where he's staying?”
Rafael shook his head. “He moves from place to place. He's got a variety of safe-houses that we can't sniff out.”
“Well shit.” Xander muttered. “I take it the wolves aren't saying anything?”
Rafael shook his head. “Whatever they know, they aren't saying. Those who do talk to us anyways. They've become pretty insulated after allying with the new Master. The main one we talk to is being kept out of the loop intentionally. He's strong enough to take out Marcus but he lacks the will.”
“Worried about losing his humanity?” Anita asked Rafael.
“Something like that. He was infected by a bad batch of Vaccine. His views are... slightly skewed since he isn't a survivor of an attack” Rafael said with a bit of a sneer. “He wants to be a peaceful leader.”
“I take it you disapprove?” Anita asked. The whole pack and group structure thing was still odd for her. She'd never had to deal with some of the things the other shifters did. Neither did her brother.
“The wolves are known for infighting and dominance plays. It happens more with truer predator weres than with the Rodere.” Rafael snorted. “Having power and wanting peace are mutually exclusive most of the time. The social structures won't allow it.”
“They'd go from having a crazy Lupa and an indifferent leader to having a peace loving do-gooder.” Anita sighed. “That wouldn't be the best solution, if anything it would weaken their pack structure right?”
“It would.” Rafael agreed. “They'd need help from a healthy pack in order to get their structure back to where it needs to be.”
“Something that they wouldn't do without a new leader, and even then asking for outside help would undermine them at first.” Xander summed up.
“It would go to hell in a hand-basket before it got better.” Rafael agreed. “Still, how are things with you two other than the new Master sending his thanks?”
“We're pretty good. Any luck on tracking down any of those films?” Anita asked.
Rafael shook his head. “They're not being distributed within the tri-state area. My influence only goes so far.”
“So they're being made somewhere, the where we don't know and being mass produced far from here.” Xander mused. “Money trail?”
“Foreign accounts is all I can tell you. Whoever set this up knew what they were doing. I know Raina is behind it but knowing something and proving it are two different things. She's spotted all of the tails we've put on her. She's got hidden talents.” Rafael said as he bit into his own burger. “I've done what I can but we're close to sparking a war between the rats and the wolves as it is.”
Xander nodded. “Thanks for the info Rafael. Dominoes again this weekend?”
“You know the place.” Rafael agreed as he got up from his meal.
“How is it you keep playing games with these people?” Anita asked her brother after Rafael had left.
“Everyone has hobbies. Just be glad you haven't seen demons playing poker with kittens.” Xander shrugged.
“Kittens could play cards?” Anita asked him.
“No, they were the money in the game. Kittens playing poker, honestly.” Xander rolled his eyes.
Anita tried to kick him but she missed as Xander stood up to go bowl his turn.
“I'm telling you boss, there is something up with those two Blakes.” Sargent Zerbrowski told his superior.
“They're both listed as having supernatural talents and have been a great help to this department.” Dolph said. “When the paperwork clears, they'll be legal vampire executioners. What do you think is up with them?”
“Just a feeling.” Zerbrowski shrugged. “It's like there is more to them than just being able to raise the dead and hunting vampires.”
“Their blood tests were clean. They're not shapeshifters. If they are anything else, it's their business unless it interferes with a police investigation.” Dolph told him. “We run a clean department here, I don't want us discriminating two of our best consultants because you think they're hiding something.”
“If I'm right?” Zerbrowski asked.
“I'll clean out your car.” Dolph said with a straight face.
Back at the house....
“You know, we never have any visitors.” Anita told her brother.
“Nice isn't it?” Xander grinned.
“No. We've got some friends in the furry community and they can't visit.”
“Did you know the house across the street from ours is up for sale?” Xander asked her with a grin.
“What are you thinking?” Anita asked him.
“Fleecing another real estate agent.” Xander told her. “That and building a tunnel. We've got the funds for it. I've done some... unique investing and it's paying off in spades.”
“Coffee and computers.” Anita remembered. “Those are paying off?”
“More than you can imagine.” Xander grinned. “Now, this one is a five bedroom but with a few larger rooms than ours. We can even have... visits over there.”
She stared at him. “You haven't been dating.”
“No I haven't. Doesn't mean there aren't a few people interested though. You've had some interested looks yourself lately.” Xander told her.
“I know, but most of the people who want to screw us have political reasons behind it.” Anita sighed. She'd gotten more than a few looks from the local furry community. “Still. It would be nice to have a place to bring someone.”
“Safety was a primary reason for warding the home.” Xander reminded her.
“I know. Safety first.” Anita agreed. “Still... a second house?”
“Money isn't an issue right now.” Xander shrugged. “Daytime raising is drawing bigger paychecks.”
“This isn't some scheme of yours?” Anita asked him.
“Everything is a scheme.” Xander grinned. “Now that vampires are legal, I have a feeling we're going to be seeing more than a few start to come out of the woodwork. They're 'safe' now.”
“Safe?” Anita snorted. “What was it you taught me? It doesn't matter what they look like, or how they act. They're still leeches.”
“So nice of you to remember.” Xander grinned.
“Like you'd let me forget.” Anita said as she rolled her eyes.
“Damn right.” Xander nodded. “Now here's my idea for defending the other house...” He began before explaining.
Anita smiled. “Have I told you I like how you think sometimes?” She asked him.
“You may have mentioned it once or twice.” Xander laughed.